As I told you yesterday we had a really nice Christmas weekend. For those of you that have been here a while you know that life here is not perfect. We’ve experienced rebellion and our son leaving home on not-so-good terms at 18. I don’t want to share the details of this publicly because it is also his story and when he is ready to talk about, if ever, then WE may share it.
It has been 5-6 hard years, although the last year or so relationships have improved greatly. I know personally that I have learned so much about myself and about God. I have had moments of utter desperation and hopelessness. I’ve had moments of pain that were deeper than when our daughter died. I know what it is like to wake up Christmas morning (and all the other mornings) missing someone you love so very much.
I use to be a formula mom. I use to think if I did A, B and C, everything would turn out OK. I thought our kids would grow up, turn out OK and we’d be one big happy family. The Lord has taught me so much about my pride, my lack of faith and that there is no formula. We are all dependent on God’s grace.
Anyway… fast forward to this Christmas.
Christmas morning Jeff gave the kids (OK, they are grown but they are still our kids 17, 21, 23) a letter he had written each of them. After our breakfast all three of them were on the couch together, this was unplanned. They all opened their letters at the same time, again, unplanned. I think Jeff’s plan was for them to read them later. Olivia also wrote us letters that will be tucked away with the keepsakes.
Jeff sat in his recliner. My man, who is not the best communicator and eloquent words do not come easily for him, poured his heart out to each of his kids in a simple letter. My strong man who has such a tender heart teared up as they read. It was one of those moments that you know ‘something special’ is happening.
Then all 3 of them began to tear up. One by one they got up and went to him crying and hugging. It was beautiful. Other than our relationship with Christ, THIS is the most important thing to me! Sincere love and peace between all of us, being together, working through issues; this is it! I don’t care how big our house is, what kind of car we drive, or what gifts were under the tree, I just want a good and righteous relationship with with my family!
I hope that if my memories disappear with age that God will allow me to keep this one. The love that overflowed that Christmas morning.
You don’t realize what you have until you don’t have it.
We still have lots of issues with each other…but I think that is just real life!
We’re just a bunch of sinful humans that are learning how to love our neighbors!!!
If you are struggling with difficult relationships with older kids:
- Hang in there.
- Be sure the lines you are drawing are Biblically drawn.
- Pray and wait…pray and wait…pray and wait…
- Repent if you need to.
- Embrace the lessons God is teaching YOU.
- If their rebellion is against God’s commands, then YOU can not take it personally. This was a big lesson for me.
- Be ready to forgive and never hold a grudge.
- As much as I HATE to hear it, and I hate saying it, often it takes time and maturity for them to come full circle. Remember, if they belong to God, He loves them more than you do and His will will be done!